What have you done with the dogs, Bethesda!?
Starfield has finally launched on September 5th! Critics and gamers alike have generally positive things to say (the reviews are currently “Very Positive” on Steam) and the only critique that really stands out has been that the first few hours of gameplay can feel slow and tedious. Overall, it seems like this has been a pretty smooth launch for everyone… everyone except man’s best friend.
Animals were included in the early concept art of Starfield, but there seems to be no sign of them in the game. Looking at how expansive Starfield is, this could have been a detail easily explained away by players who already have enough on their plate. Perhaps the beloved companions are just enjoying domestication out of harm's way? Bethesda could have given us peace of mind with some plausible deniability. They could have, but they certainly didn't. In a rather unsettlingly easter egg find, the Twitter (X?) page “Can You Pet the Dog?” has pointed out in a tweet that Bethesda has gone so far as to suggest that pets (or, at least Labradors) are extinct in Starfield lore.
The text reads, "Centauri Mills' chocolates, shaped like an extinct canine called a Labrador Retriever."
So far, it’s a safe bet to assume that you’re going to have to take down any creature other than a human (and maybe even some humans as well.) While this news is pretty devastating to those who were looking forward to a cuddly addition to their crew, and an interesting choice given the popularity of Dogmeat in Fallout, it’s understandable that developers chose to focus their time and energy on other projects.
Starfield is still an incredible game, but man, did they have to do this to us?